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What Does A Death Certificate Before 1969 Look Like And What Information Does It Have?

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A death certificate produced in England or Wales before 1969 is printed on black/dark grey paper with an intricate pattern to prevent forgery. The paper is slightly longer and slightly narrower than an A4 piece of paper.

The death certificate records the name of the person who has died, the date, time and place of death, the cause of death and the name and address of the informant, usually someone who was actually present at the death.

The information on a death certificate is often not thought to be that useful for family history but the date of a person's death can be a help in narrowing the search period to find the person's will. Wills are very rich sources of genealogical information ~ they can name dozens of relatives and give details of property owned by the deceased ancestor.

If the cause of death is unnatural, there may have been an inquest and the date of death gives a good starting point for a search of local newspapers to find more grisly details.

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